Category Archives: Computer

Free CodeWeavers Crossover License on October 28

CodeWeavers is making Crossover licenses available for free for one day only, October 28, 2008. The site is currently unable to handle the load, but you can submit an email address in order to register for a serial number. The offer limits one license per email address.

Since the entire site now redirects to the one simple page to register for the license, it’s hard to get information on the products that are available for free. Enter Google’s cache of the products page. Basically, the Crossover products make it possible to run Windows applications on computers that run on Mac or Linux OS’s. The cool part is that it does not require a Windows license, unlike some virtualization applications.

For today only, they have put up fully unlocked builds that can be used without having to wait for registration:

Download CrossOver Mac Pro

Download CrossOver Games Mac

Download CrossOver Linux Pro

Download CrossOver Games Linux

Now I have to decide if I want the Mac or Linux version…

Update: I downloaded and installed CrossOver Linux Pro. It worked but not as I expected. It is able to install a pre-determined list of Windows applications. I was hoping to install Chrome rather than use CrossOver Chromium but it doesn’t seem to be possible. At least I was able to get Internet Explorer 6 installed in case I have to check out websites that don’t function in any browser other than IE.

Firefox Used up Almost 600MB Memory

This morning, I noticed Firefox was awfully slow. I clicked on one bookmark and had to wait for the tab to load before I could open the second bookmark. Usually, I open both bookmarks one after the other.

I opened Task Manager to check how much memory it was using. It was over 580MB! I used to only have 512MB of RAM. No wonder my laptop would have issues when FF went up to over 300MB. Now that I have 2GB of RAM, my laptop is less affected by Firefox hogging so much of memory, but FF slows itself down.

I shut down Firefox, and watched the Task Monitor. At first, it looked like Firefox wasn’t going to shut down, but the memory usage slowly went down for a bit and then Firefox was closed. I don’t like to shut down Firefox at home because it messes up the “new posts” info in my favorite forum. At work, it’s not a problem, and I try to remember to close Firefox at the end of the day so that it’s not slow the next day I use it.

Tip: Activating Google Screensaver with Keyboard Shortcut

I’m all about keyboard shortcuts. Particularly since my main computer at home is a laptop, the less I have to move the cursor, the better.

I installed Google Screensaver on my work laptop also. The thing was that the usual keyboard shortcut that I usually use to lock the screen, ctrl-alt-delete, did not immediately activate the screensaver. I decided to try to take advantage of the custom keyboard shortcuts we can assign to shortcuts.

In the Start Menu, navigate to “Run Google Photos Screensaver” shortcut and right-click on the icon. Select Properties. Enter a key you want to use for Shortcut key. At first, I chose S for Screensaver, but then switched to L because my Ubuntu machine used ctrl-alt-l to lock the computer. I figured it would be easier to have the same shortcut.

How to Install Applications on Linux

I found this page today that finally helped me understand how to install applications in Linux: HOWTO: Use dpkg to Install .deb Files:

To install a .deb file, become root and use the command:

dpkg -i filename.deb

In order for me to run the command as root, I was supposed to use:
sudo dpkg -i filename.deb

However, I got access denied or something like that. I went to the support folks and I was asked if the installation file was in home, which was on the network. It turned out that the installation file had to be in the tmp folder on my local hard drive in order to be able to run sudo. Once I copied the file over to the tmp folder, the command worked like a charm.

As much as I like Ubuntu-flavored Linux, my least favorite aspect is installing applications. It’s not as easy as in Windows where I can just double-click an installer file. The documentation is essentially non-existent. I guess they expect that if you use Linux, you just magically know how to do things. :P

The cool thing about Ubuntu is that it comes with a lot of applications already installed. However, I wanted to supplement my Firefox browser with Opera. The Opera website wasn’t very helpful in helping install the package after I downloaded the file. I had to have a friend help me install it a few months ago. I don’t know why, but something went wrong with my machine today and it had to be re-imaged, resulting in the loss of Opera. I really wanted to be able to figure out how to install Opera on my own so I don’t have to keep bugging someone else to help me every time I needed it. Finding the instructions above has given me some linux independence. Woohoo!

Upgraded All My Computers to Firefox 2

I’ve figured all the issues I had with upgrading to Firefox 2 and now all three of my computers are running the latest version with no problems.

The previous issues that made me revert to Firefox 1.5 after attempting the upgrade:

Lost bookmarks

It turned out what made the bookmarks disappear upon upgrade was that the Firefox process was still running. When doing the upgrade, make sure that Firefox is completely shut down, even if you don’t see it in the taskbar. Open up Task Manager and confirm.

Incompatible Extensions

Some of my beloved extensions did not have versions that were upgraded for 2.0, or I didn’t like the version written for 2.0. I found the trick to trick Firefox into running those extensions. There’s no guarantee that it will work with all extensions, though. Certain extensions showed error messages saying they were incompatible with FF 2 even though they technically could run under it. What was “breaking” them was their info file that stated the version number compatibility didn’t include version numbers greater than 1. We’re going to change that.

Extensions are basically archive files. Find a copy of your extension, which would end in .xpi. Rename it so it ends in .zip so that your computer can recognize it, given that you have software that can unzip zip files. Depending on your software, you’ll want to choose the function to Expand or Uncompress it.

In the resulting folder, you should find a file called install.rdf. Open it in a simple text editor like notepad or wordpad. Look for and edit the number to 2 or greater. Save the file. Compress the folder back into a zip file. Rename the extension from zip to xpi. Install the extension with that file.

Again, it may or may not work depending on the functionality of the extension.